NEWTON, NJ— Halsted Middle School art teacher, Kate Del Vecchio was named as 2018-2019 Sussex County Teacher of the Year.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized and I am ecstatic to represent Sussex County this upcoming school year,” Del Vecchio said. “It was a total shock when I heard I was this year’s Sussex County’s teacher of the year. Terri Muzzo, a special education teacher at Halsted was named the same for the 2017-2018 year. I would have never thought teachers from Newton would win two years in a row.
This year, the New Jersey Department of Education, NJDOE, recognized 21 teachers for the 2018-2019 County Teachers of the Year during an awards ceremony at Jackson Memorial High School.
“I am honored to recognize the 2018-2019 County Teachers of the Year,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “These 21 educators exemplify the outstanding level of talent and commitment that exists in New Jersey’s public schools. Their hard work and dedication is a critical part of making our state’s public education system one of the best in the country and creating a life-long love of learning for New Jersey’s students.”
“Receiving this award allows me to participate in many events throughout the school year. These opportunities will help me grow professionally and network with other teachers around the state,” Del Vecchio said. “Now as a teacher leader in New Jersey, I am able to share my expertise with others as well as learn from other experts in education.”
Individual schools are encouraged to identify educators for the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their outstanding teachers. The teachers that are recognized as part of this program become eligible to compete for County Teachers of the Year.
“We are so excited to have for the second year in a row, the Sussex County Teacher of the Year,” Halsted Middle School Principal Kristi Greene said. “Kate Del Vecchio is an amazing teacher, so we were not surprised that she was chosen. This teacher has a bubbly, infectious zest for life. Anyone who spends time around her is inspired by her energy and willingness to take on any task, no matter how difficult.”
According to Greene, “Del Vecchio has organized the exhibition for Sussex County Youth Art Month, she was recognized with the Lynn Dodd YAM award, presented the Art Educators of NJ award and also received the 2015 Arts in Education Recognition award from Senior Art Students. She has organized many Fireman 5k walk teams for Newton Day, she organizes Halsted Games, and brings the Girls on the Run teams to the Fall and Spring races. She runs an afternoon Art Club and designs, builds, and paints the set for the Spring Musical, as well.”
“Kate Del Vecchio is well deserving of this recognition as Sussex County Teacher of the year,” Superintendent Ken Greene said. “Her passion for teaching and learning is infectious. Students bring all different skills and motivations to her classroom, but Kate finds a way to engage each of them in a personal way. She is also the first to raise her hand when a need arises and leads her peers by example of her commitment. We are very lucky to have her on our faculty.”
“Many students quickly rattle off her names as their favorite teacher because they enjoy being in her class,” Kristi Greene said. "Parents appreciate her dedication to make their child’s education a success and challenging their child to be the best person they can possibly be. colleagues enjoy working with such a positive personality that is a friend and role model to everyone in the entire building. The teacher always goes above and beyond.”
Panels representing a cross-section of administrators, teachers, parents and members of county education associations select each County Teacher of the Year. Then a panel of educators select the New Jersey State Teacher of the year based on the following:
- written applications
- video submissions
- interviews with the County Teachers of the Year.
The State Teacher of the Year is expected to be announced at the State Board of Education's October meeting, and will go on to represent New Jersey in competing for the title of National Teacher of the Year.